Wednesday, May 16, 2007
Vice Premier Peres: Israel is ready to help if Abbas asks
"Israel is ready to help Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as his Fatah faction battles Hamas Islamists in Gaza, Vice Premier Shimon Peres said on Wednesday.
At a news conference after a meeting with Estonia's prime minister, Peres said Israel would not intervene directly in hostilities but would respond to specific requests from Abbas.
"We should help Mr. Abbas in his fight against the terrorists," he said in answer to reporter questions. Asked about possible direct measures, Peres said: "We can only respond to Mr. Abbas's requests for help. We will not intervene in the war itself but if Mr. Abbas will request specific help, we will supply (it).".......
Italy offers to send troops to help quell fighting in Gaza
Italy would consider sending peacekeepers to the Gaza Strip if the Palestinian government requested help to end factional fighting, Foreign Minister Massimo D'Alema said on Wednesday.
But D'Alema called for political pressure, including from the Arab world, to end the fighting between Hamas and Fatah.
"If the Palestinian Authority asked for international help to guarantee security in Gaza, that could be considered," he aid. "Still, I believe that at this moment, one must exercise political pressure on the sides that are clashing that are paradoxically part of the same government."
Italy is leading the UN peacekeeping force in Lebanon. D'Alema said last year that if the Lebanon force proved effective, a similar force could be used in Gaza......"